Ramblers setter #8 Michael Keegan wasted no time setting his top gun #20 Brandon Rattray, who had some thunderous line shot kills. After a kill by #14 Ryan Mather at 4-3, Rattray started a service run. With three service aces by Rattray, two blocks and a kill by #2 Sean Dennis, and another block from Mather gave the ramblers an 11-3 lead. While the Matadors scored on kills by #18 Gabriel Cruz and #17 Jacob Vander Beek, Ramblers increased their lead to 20-11 with kills by Mather, a service ace by Keegan, and a block by Rattray. Matadors countered with a mini-run on a kill by #4 Alvaro Ascues and blocks by Vander Beek and #2 Brett Massetti to reduce the lead to 20-15. But Matadors only managed one real point for the rest of the set on a kill by #1 setter Jesus Serrano during a transition play. Ramblers closed out the set on kills by Mather, #15 Kevin Lopez, and a Mather service ace and kill for a 25-20 win.
In set #2, a block by #11 Antwain Aguillard, a Lopez service ace, and a Mather kill put the Ramblers at a 3-0 lead. Ramblers slowly increased their lead on a block and a few kills by Rattray, a Keegan service ace for a 12-5 lead. The Matadors’ first actual score was by Cruz at 10-5. At the media timeout, the Ramblers had a 16-10 lead. Although the Matadors finally got some kills by Vander Beek and #15 Martin Petris, the Ramblers finished off the Matadors with a kill and block Rattray, a kill by Lopez, and an ace by Keegan for a 25-20 win. Of the Matadors’ 20 points, 15 were scored by the Ramblers’ hitting and service errors.
In set #3, the Matadors bounced back. They had an early lead on Ramblers’ hitting errors, responding with kills by Vander Beek, Serrano, and #9 Jorge Cabrera to put them ahead at 11-8. The Ramblers slowly chipped away at the lead with kills by Rattray and Mather and Matadors’ hitting errors, bringing the score to 13-12. The Matadors countered with kills by Petris, Cabrera, and service ace by J. Serrano and hung on to a 22–21 lead. Ramblers tied 22-22 from a Lopez block and then took the lead on a Mather ace to 23-22. After a Ramblers’ service error tied the score at 23-23, the Matadors scored the following two points on a kill by Ascues and Martin and won 25-23.
Set #4 was just as competitive as Set #3. Ramblers and Matadors battled back and forth, with the Ramblers hanging on to a one-point lead. Matadors scored with two kills by Ascues, three kills by Vander Beek, three kills by Cabrera, and two kills by Cruz. Ramblers scored on three kills by Mather, dump by Keegan, four kills by Lopez, two kills, and one service ace by Dennis, kill by Rattray, leading to a 16-15 score at the media timeout. Both teams battled hard after the timeout, but the Ramblers never relinquished the lead thanks to three kills by Rattray. After Matadors called a timeout at 21-19, Vander Beek scored on a kill to 21-20. Ramblers hung on to their lead on a kill by Lopez and Mather service ace. After the Matadors scored on an Ascues kill at 24-23, Ramblers scored the set and match point on a kill by Mather to 25-23.
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#14 Ryan Mather – 22 Points (18 Kills. 3 Aces, 1 Block)
#20 Brandon Rattray – 22 Points (16 Kills, 3 Aces, 3 Block)
#15 Kevin Lopez – 10 Points (9 Kills, 1 Ace)
#2 Sean Dennis – 8 Points (5 Kills, 2 Blocks, 1 Ace)
#17 Jacob Vander Beek – 15 Points (13 Kills, 2 Blocks)
#4 Alvaro Ascues – 12 Points (12 Kills)
#9 Jorge Cabrera – 8 Points (8 Kills)
#18 Gabriel Cruz – 7 Points (5 Kills, 2 Blocks)
# 15 Martin Petris – 5 Points (4 Kills, 1 Block)
- NVA Staff Writer